Here’s what I am reading, at the moment.

Outside my window, thunder and lightning and heavy rain are celebrating in some kind of atmospheric rave. It’s a good day to sit down in my window-seat with a book and a cup of tea.

Today, I’m finishing up a novel called The Ghost Network, written by Catie Disabato and available through Melville House Publishing. It’s a captivating novel, not just because of the suspense and mystery provided by its plot — which are definitely present, but because it inspires an investigation into how we construct spaces in which to think, live, imagine, work, and move. I find myself mulling over passages and referring to Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space or Guy DeBord’s The Society of the Spectacle now and again — and, I feel inspired to listen to the music of Lady Gaga in the background, or follow up with episodes ofย Twin Peaks, both of which I like and that the story of this novel bring to mind.

So far, I’ve enjoyed the novel, and I hope to say more about it when I’m finished reading it. For now, I want to leave you all with a few passages that stayed with me:

From The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato:

“For reasons I failed to comprehend during my first research trip to Chicago, Molly Metropolis was fascinated enough with the L to dedicate years of her life to designing a map that layered each potential, but never constructed, alternative or expansion to the L on top of a map of all the functioning L lines. She also included train lines and stations that had once been part of the system but had gone out of use. She created the map on a computer and also painted it onto the wall of a secret office she kept in Chicago. This giant, unwieldy map is the project called The Ghost Network.

Molly’s Ghost Network is a strange piece; it catalogues not only a hypothetical transit system, but also one that would be nearly impossible to build and ridiculous to implement. The Ghost Network has, for example, dual train lines riding side by side for their entire route, save one or two stops; it has places where both elevated and underground trains run the exact same route. The Ghost Network exists in a world without decisions, where every proposal is adopted, where construction isn’t based on the realities of the city.” (page 59)

On my mind is material that lives in my own novel-in-progress (which shares very little in common with what I am reading, except that both feature musicians and ghosts to an extent), the past and context and historicity of place. I might say more about this on another day.

From Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space:

“Since a phenomenological inquiry on poetry aspires to go so far and so deep, because of methodological obligations, it must go beyond the sentimental resonances with which we receive (more or less richly-whether this richness be within ourselves or within the poem) a work of art. This is where the phenomenological doublet of resonances and repercussions must be sensitized. The resonances are dispersed on the different planes of our life in the world, while the repercussions invite us to give greater depth to our own existence. In the resonance we hear the poem, in the reverberations we speak it, it is our own. The reverberations bring about a change of being. It is as though the poet’s being were our being. The multiplicity of resonances then issues from the reverberations’ unity of being. Or, to put it more simply, this is an impression that all impassioned poetry-lovers know well: the poem possesses us entirely.” (xxii, The Introduction, by GB)

The notion of resonance is particularly important to my own work — in my poetry and also in my prose. Everything is an echo of another thing, perhaps. In navigating these echoes, I think that we can find something of the experience invoked, some nexus between writer and reader and their shared bond for the duration of the reading experience.

From The Society of the Spectacle by Guy DeBord:

9. In a world that really has been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood.

It is usually important to keep DeBord in context, but this statement reminds me of the incredibly tumultuous times in which we are living, fact and fiction blur together, belief overtakes logic, and what is felt as true can sometimes feel like a betrayal of a more comforting reality or vice versa. Writing involves making choices, and those choices resonate as much with human experience as what that human experience chooses to negate in its acknowledgment of the real. I’m thinking about what is disclosed and what is concealed in the ordinary act of interacting with the world around us, what energetic echoes are left behind.

If you’ve read these things or want to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear what you have to say.

 

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Working on updating my site and blog, again.

So, I just figured out how to connect my domain to my WordPress site. That means you wont have to click from a banner or splash page to get to my site. That’s step one, out of the way. ๐Ÿ™‚

I wish I could be at AWP, where I was supposed to be giving a reading tonight with some awesome poets, and where I would have loved seeing more of you writer friends! Sometimes, our plans are not in our hands, though. I hope to announce a few new readings in Texas and throughout the USA, soon. You’ll find those details here, once I get that sorted out.

And, I hope to share some more posts very soon. In the meantime, I hope March has been good to all of you! Please check out heliophobia or In the Crocodile Gardens, if you haven’t done so already. If you have, and wanna leave me a nice review online at Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, I’d probably smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

It’s 2018!

Happy New Year, everyone!

2017 proved to be a complicated and difficult year for so many that I know and for reasons that are apparent across the world, but I have high hopes for 2018 and all that it may hold.

I’m finding new ways to manage my time and projects, lately. So, armed with a new planner (Ink + Volt has some cool notebooks that I’m trying out this year), a Midori-Style Traveler’s Notebook that I made (in the shape of River Song’s Diary, because, how could I resist?), a variety of pens and optimistic ideas, I’m trying to get my 2018 off to a good start.

One of my goals this time around is to get back to blogging in a real way — and, to try my hand at vlogging. So, I hope I’ll be here every week with something to say about the literary life and things in my experience of it. And, I hope to hear from some of you, if you want to join me in conversation.

My new book heliophobia just hit the shelves, so to speak. You can pick up a copy online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Finishing Line Press website, or directly from me (working on getting the website running smoothly, so that link will be available later.). If you’d like to review a copy, please email me or request a review copy from the publisher. And, if you’d like to leave me a review on Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, I’d appreciate it!

From January 1 to March 31, I’m also going to be trying out a new challenge, the 85k90; it’s a NaNoWriMo-style writing marathon in which people try to produce 85,000 words toward a novel or other project in 90 days. My novel has been on the back burner for too long, and I didn’t manage to win NaNoWriMo2017, so I’m aiming to finish my first draft. Surely, I’ll have things to say — or frustrated emojis to share, about that process over the next few months, too!

So, please stay tuned for more stuff.

I hope your 2018 is off to a great start! ๐Ÿ™‚

Some News

Hi, everyone. I’m trying, once again, to update my website and get it up and running properly. I’ve got some good news, these days that I hope to share:

In the Crocodile Gardens has been nominated for an Elgin Award. If you’re eligible to vote, please consider checking out my collection before you cast your ballots. If you’re not, check out the Science Fiction Poetry Association and discover some new and wonderful works, and learn a bit about it!

My poem “The Key Club” has been nominated by Agape Editions for inclusion in the Bettering American Poetry award anthology. Please do check out the series, and also my poem!

I’ll be reading some poems and meeting people at the New Orleans Poetry Festival this year. If you’re there, please come say hi!

More, soon. I really hope I can get this site up and running properly, very soon! I don’t have any formal training in web design, but I’m enjoying the process of discovering a little a time.

“In the Crocodile Gardens” is available.

Just a really quick update to let you all know that “In the Crocodile Gardens” is now available!!

If you’re going to AWP, please come to the Sundress Publications/Agape Editions reading on 3/31 where I will read from the collection, or visit the Sundress Publications Table where I’ll be signing books. You can order a copy at a special AWP price online and pick it up at the booth, too!

Here’s the link through which you can find the special AWP-priced copy.

Find my work on Amazon.

Or, please go to your local Barnes and Noble and order a copy, there!

coming soon…

I’ve beenย  to a number of really great readings, performances, and events, lately: Rikki Ducornet, Ash Smith, Melissa Studdard, Valerie Sayres, Marylin Crispell, The Svetlanas, Kermit Oliver’s Exhibit at the Nave, StoryPeople, MLA in Austin, and some others. I always take photos and write about these events in my journals, but I thought I might share some of them here, with you. So, I’ll be adding a series of posts about these wonderful arts experiences, throughout the month. Just wanted to let you all know what’s coming soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m pleased to share that Agape Editions, an imprint of Sundress Publications, has announced that they will be publishing my full-length collection of poems “In the Crocodile Gardens” in April of 2016. I’ll keep you posted on the sale and pre-sale information.

Please visit the site to discover more about this exciting imprint, about my book, and about the other titles that they’ve announced. I’m really looking forward to this.

In other good news, my poem “O Dervish of the Restless Heart” was recently nominated for an Independent Best American Poetry Award by Zoetic Press’s “NonBinary Review”, and my poem “Gingerbread Girl” was nominated by TheThe Poetry Blog’s “Infoxicated Corner” for The Best of the Net Award. I’m so grateful to these amazing folks for their support of my work.

I’ll post links to the poems, soon.

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